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'Daring, gallus and honest, Stuart Hogg has defined a Scottish era'

Stuart Hogg retires young, but retires a giant of Scottish sport.

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'Let's be honest, some of these guys aren't proven': Ex-Crusader on All Blacks XV selections

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Former Crusaders halfback Bryn Hall has offered his view on the All Blacks XV as a player who experienced a similar plight to Super Rugby players like Chiefs winger Shaun Stevenson.


A New Zealand under-20 rep in 2013, Hall moved from the Blues to the Crusaders and played six seasons for the Christchurch club, winning six Super Rugby titles under Scott Robertson.

He was capped eight times for the Maori All Blacks but wasn’t given the chance to play for the All Blacks despite his domestic success with the Crusaders during his time in New Zealand.

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After 93 appearances for the Crusaders, he called time on his New Zealand career in 2022 and moved to Japan to take up a deal with the Shizuoka Blue Revs.

“Having this [All Blacks XV] team, it gives you a greater understanding of where you are in the scheme of things,” Hall told Sky Sport NZ’s The Breakdown.

“If you don’t make the All Blacks, you are probably thinking ‘am I fourth or fifth? Am I an injury away?’

“And to be honest, you don’t get a lot of communication from coaches or even from other people if you are in the reckoning.


“What you know now if you are not in the All Blacks XV, you are kind of being told that you are sixth or seventh.”

A number of selections in the All Blacks XV raised more questions than answers with a host of relatively inexperienced NPC players picked under the All Black brand without becoming established Super Rugby players yet.

Sowakula, capped by the All Blacks just months ago, wasn’t selected in either squad while form players in the NPC like Shaun Stevenson and Canterbury’s Tom Christie were also overlooked.

Hall said the danger now is that those overlooked have every incentive to end their New Zealand careers after learning how far down the pecking order they stand.


“Pita Gus Sowakula, Shaun Stevenson, DuPlessis Kirifi, Tom Christie, guys like that,” Hall said.

“Now I can understand Tom, he’s a bit younger, but you look at guys like Pita Gus and Stevenson, guys that have plying their trade for a really long time that can’t even get into the All Blacks XV now.”

“For me personally, it would give me an incentive to say ‘you know what, it’s my time to go’ because I’m not even ranked in the top five or six in the position.

“It’s difficult, let’s be honest, some of these guys that have been selected aren’t proven.

“They are not proven at Super Rugby level and have been selected as a development player.

“That’s no disrespect to the Crusaders boys that have been picked in that team, but a lot of those guys haven’t been proven at Super Rugby level or even Bunnings NPC for long periods of time.”


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RUGBYPASS+ 'Daring, gallus and honest, Stuart Hogg has defined a Scottish era' 'Daring, gallus and honest, Stuart Hogg has defined a Scottish era'